May 9, 2014 2:30 PM
Abbeville elementary school students from Eaton Park Elementary harvested the crops they planted in early February, as part of the American Heart Association Teaching Gardens program.
The program is designed to encourage healthy diets in young children and to help combat childhood obesity, which has reached epidemic proportions. Today, nearly one in three children and adolescents in the U.S. is overweight or obese.
American Heart Association Teaching Gardens teach children in first through fifth grades how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest produce and ultimately understand the value of good eating habits.
Garden-themed lessons teach nutrition, math, science and other subjects - not to mention the fun of getting out in the fresh air and working with your hands. Throughout the program, students celebrate gardening milestones: planting day, harvesting and activities that involve the larger community. Of course, there are also plenty of healthy snacking opportunities.